When the Senate is as closely divided as it is now, every seat counts. This is especially true for the Republicans who have a wafer-thin, two-seat majority. With more than two unreliable, left-leaning Republican senators such as McCain, Collins, and Murkowski in the Republican caucus, the passage of President Trump’s agenda is seldom a sure thing.
On the Democratic side, the loss of any of their seats would take some pressure off the Republicans and make Minority Leader Schumer’s job much more difficult. In that regard, Mr. Schumer’s job is likely to get more difficult.
Senator Bob Menendez is being tried for corruption and has requested a mistrial. The judge as denied the request. As a result, the case will continue and end in a verdict. Should Menendez be convicted, Schumer might well lose that Democratic seat.
“On Monday morning a federal judge dismissed a request to declare the corruption case against Sen. Bob Menendez and his wealthy benefactor a mistrial. The Democratic senator is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, trips aboard a private plane, and luxury vacations at an exclusive resort from his co-defendant, Salamon Melgen, a wealthy eye doctor.
“In exchange, prosecutors say Menendez lobbied State Department officials to get visas for his married friend’s alleged mistresses and even intervened in a federal fraud investigation on his behalf.”
As an aside, surely it has occurred to Mr. Menendez to wonder why he is being tried for corruption and Hillary is not, at least so far. The answer, one he would surely abhor, is that he’s not Hillary.
Here’s where political intrigue enters. “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could chose a Republican senator to replace Menendez if his office were to be vacated, which would affect the narrowly divided Senate. If he’s found guilty, Menendez’s attorneys will likely appeal the conviction — a move that could prolong the trial until after the gubernatorial election. Democratic candidate Phil Murphy is projected to win by a wide margin.”
So, if convicted and the case is appealed, would he step down, giving the power to replace him to a Republican governor, or stick it out? In this case, we see a dramatic difference between the will of the people and the will of the Democratic members of the Senate.
“If convicted, 84 percent of Menendez’s constituents want him to resign from office, but Democrats refuse to say whether their colleague should step down. Earlier this month, The Federalist contacted every Democratic senator to ask if Menendez should quit if he’s found guilty and not a single one said yes.”
So, if he is convicted and he appeals, what will Menendez do? Will he follow the wishes of his constituents, or will he try to stick it out in spite of the inevitable criticism?
We know what Hillary would do, but Menendez? As pointed out, he’s not Hillary.
Source: The Federalist